CDC/ACIP [to 21 Dec 2019]
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Nine Health Threats that Made Headlines in 2019: A CDC Review
MMWR News Synopsis for Friday, December 20, 2019
Estimating the Incidence of Influenza at the State Level — Utah, 2016–17 and 2017–18 Influenza Seasons
Timely state- or local-level estimates of the number of people who are ill and seek medical care due to influenza (flu) contribute to preparedness and communication messages needed during flu season and in the event of a flu pandemic. As flu season approaches, pilot work done at the Utah Department of Health and Salt Lake County Health Department to estimate seasonal flu burden and severity may help inspire other health departments to adopt similar measures. Methods used by CDC to estimate the numbers of people who are ill, seek medical care, or who are hospitalized due to flu nationally were applied for the first time at state and local levels. Results showed that in Utah during the 2017-18 flu season, approximately 11% of Utah residents were sick due to flu, and 3,900 of these people had severe flu illness requiring hospitalization. These findings complement a previous report (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6806a7.htm) on real-time flu season severity estimation in Utah that is now actively used in the state (http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/influenza/surveillance/2019-2020/Utah_Weekly_Influenza_Report.htmlexternal icon). State or county health departments may consider adapting these reproducible methods in their jurisdictions to estimate local flu disease burden and severity to help public health officials, policymakers, and clinicians tailor flu messaging, planning, and responses for seasonal flu epidemics and pandemics.
Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak — Democratic Republic of the Congo, August 2018–November 2019
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Ministry of Health (MoH), along with international partners, have improved the MoH’s ability to respond to the DRC’s current Ebola epidemic and to identify targeted intervention strategies for affected health zones. However, because this outbreak is happening in the context of more violence than seen in earlier outbreaks, there is a need for innovative approaches beyond the conventional Ebola response. On August 1, 2018, the DRC MoH declared the tenth outbreak of Ebola virus disease (Ebola) in DRC, in the North Kivu Province in eastern DRC on the border with Uganda. From the beginning of the outbreak to November 17, 2019, a total of 3,296 Ebola cases and 2,196 (67%) deaths were reported, making this the second largest documented outbreak after the 2014–2016 epidemic in West Africa. Since August 2018, the DRC MoH has been collaborating with international partners to control the outbreak. Although the DRC has successfully contained Ebola outbreaks in the past, challenges specific to North Kivu and Ituri provinces have complicated outbreak control. Limited infrastructure and resources, armed conflict, and community distrust of local authorities and international partners are major challenges faced by the Ebola response.